For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Palestinians spend about a half billion US dollars every year buying products made in Israeli settlements, Palestinian Minister of Economy Hassan Abu Libdeh on Sunday.
Abu Libdeh, speaking during a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce in Nablus in the northern West Bank, was explaining the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to crack down on the sale of settlement products.
He told investors, business figures, and local officials that his ministry decided that 2010 would be the last year settlement products would be allowed the Palestinian market.
But, despite some reservations, the PA will continue to abide by the Paris Protocol, the 1994 agreement that dictates that there are no economic barriers between it and Israel.
This number seems very high. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2007 the PA imported some $2.3 billion of goods from Israel altogether. It seems unlikely that over 20% of their goods imported from Israel originate in the territories.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"